The MoU between India and Nepal for the building of a bridge across the Mahakali River at Dharchula (India) – Dharchula (Nepal) has been approved by the Indian Union Cabinet.
Between India and Nepal, the Mahakali River is a transboundary/international river.
River Mahakali, sometimes known as Kali and Sarda along its path, is a Himalayan catchment of the Ghagra subbasin of the larger Ganga Basin.
This river begins in the Trans Himalayan area in Kalapani and flows through Uttar Pradesh’s Tarai plains to drain the region.
The Mahakali’s catchment area is mostly in Uttarakhand, with the remainder in Nepal. It enters the Ghaghra River which is a Ganges tributary.
The Mahakali River has the ability to generate hydroelectric electricity.
The river could also be used as the source for one of the many projects in the Himalayan part of the Indian Rivers Inter-linking project.
Anaimalai Tiger Reserve - Tamil Nadu
Why in News:
The official of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) praises the ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute for its tribal development initiatives.
Originally named Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, it was renamed Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park before becoming the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in 2008, when Project Tiger was established.
The Tamil Nadu part of the Anamalais is home to Anamalai Tiger Reserve (in Kerala and Tamil Nadu).
The reserve’s Tamil Nadu section is known as ATR. It is located in the Southern Western Ghats, south of the Palakkad Gap.
Dry deciduous forests, semi-evergreen forests, evergreen forests, and wet temperate forests all thrive here.
Annual Rainfall – 500 mm to 5000 mm, with the eastern slopes receiving the least rainfall and the western slopes receiving the highest.
Elephants, Gaurs, Water Buffaloes, Tigers, Panthers, Sloth Bears, Pangolins, Black-Headed Orioles, Crocodiles, Green Pigeons, Civet Cats, Dholes, Sambars, and 31 endangered wildlife macaque groups are various animals found here.
Pied Hornbill, Red Whiskered Bulbul, and Drongo are three bird species.
The Malasar, MalaiMalasars, Kadars, Eravallars, Pulayars, and Muduvars are among the indigenous peoples that live in Animals, and it is worthy of being declared as an “Anthropological Reserve.”
Why in News:
Two separate studies have shown that DNA floating in the air may help conserve biodiversity worldwide.
About e-DNA Tech:
Animals release DNA into the environment via their breath, saliva, hair, and feces. These DNA strands are dispersed around in the air.
Environmental DNA refers to the DNA found in the air (e-DNA).
Animal tracking by e-DNA is not a novel concept. By sequencing e-DNA from water samples, biologists were able to see aquatic species.
Similarly, the two teams used sensitive filters coupled to vacuum pumps to filter e-DNA from the air.
After collecting DNA from the air, the scientists used a polymerase chain reaction to make copies (PCR). DNA sequencing was the last stage.
The animal was subsequently identified by comparing the sequencing data to known sequences.
These e-DNAs have the potential to be utilized to identify and track terrestrial animals.
Their results might aid in deciphering animal community makeup and detecting the spread of non-native species.
However, the e-DNA technology, in its present state, is unable to produce reliable data for population census. It will, however, in the future.
Molnupiravir, an anti-Covid drug, has been approved but is not advised.
What is the News?
The medicine Molnupiravir, which was recently licensed for early-stage Covid-19 patients, has been excluded from the Indian Council of Medical Research’s recommended treatment strategy.
This is due to major worries about the drug’s safety.
What are the risks linked with the medicine Molnupiravir?
In studies, the medicine was shown to be just 30% effective, which is much lower than previous indications.
The drug operates by embedding itself into the virus’s RNA, causing mutations with the goal of preventing reproduction.
However, doing so runs the risk of introducing mutations into the virus, making it stronger and more lethal. The medicine has a greater risk of causing mutations in human DNA.
The medicine has the potential to induce teratogenicity (the propensity to cause birth abnormalities in a growing foetus), cartilage damage, and muscle damage.
Ministry of Earth Sciences: Year-End Review for 2021
In the year 2021, the Ministry of Earth Sciences has initiated a number of projects.
About Various Initiatives:
Earth System Science Data Portal:
The Ministry of Earth Sciences created the Earth System Science Data Portal (ESSDP). It is a MoES institutions’ integrated digital online platform that makes data on numerous issues of earth system science accessible for public use.
Atmospheric Research Testbed:
The Atmospheric Research Testbed is an open field observatory in Madhya Pradesh that uses state-of-the-art observational systems such as radars, wind profilers, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to better understand the processes governing monsoon convection and land-atmosphere interactions over the core monsoon region.
Indigenous Decision Support System
The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) created the Indigenous Decision Support System for enhanced air quality management in the Delhi NCR area.
High-Resolution Rapid Refresh:
HRRR model is an hourly-updating atmospheric predictions model with a high frequency of updates over the next 12 hours. It covers the whole Indian continent, with weather predictions every two kilometres in all regions.
Water Quality Buoy:
The National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) has put a water quality buoy in the coastal waters off Puducherry.
This is a sensor-equipped automated water quality buoy that monitors changes in the water quality and productivity of coastal waterways.
Indian Ocean Data Portal
INCOIS, in collaboration with NIOT and PMEL-NOAA, established the Indian Ocean Data Portal.
It will have a huge collection of meteorological and oceanographic data sets, as well as direct access to data presentation and delivery.
Deep drilling in Maharashtra’s Koyna intraplate seismic zone
This project was authorised in 2013 for scientific deep drilling in Maharashtra’s Koyna intraplate seismic zone.
It will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn more about the mechanics of reservoir-triggered earthquakes.
INCOIS, Hyderabad, has created the International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCO ocean).
Its goal is to promote the development and optimization of operational oceanography’s scientific basis, technology, and information system at the national, regional, and worldwide levels.
The Cabinet has approved the Green Energy Corridor Phase-II of the Intra-State Transmission System.
Why in News?
The Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II concept for Intra-State Transmission System has been authorised by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (InSTS).
What is the Intra-State Transmission System (InSTS) Green Energy Corridor Project?
The Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Project intends to synchronise energy generated from renewable sources such as solar and wind with the grid’s conventional power facilities.
In 2015-16, the GEC-Intra State Transmission System (InSTS) project was approved for the evacuation and integration of renewable energy capacity via the construction of transmission lines and the expansion of substation transformation capacity.
It is being implemented by the states of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh, which all have abundant renewable resources.
By 2022, the goal is to have 9700 circuit kilometres of transmission lines and 22,600 Mega Volt-Amperes (MVA) of substation transformation capacity
This will make grid integration and power evacuation of around 24 GW of renewable energy easier (RE).
The financing strategy comprises a 40% grant from the Government of India,20% state equity, and a 40% loan from the KfW Bank in Germany.
Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh are the seven states where it is being implemented.
By 2025-26, the goal is to build 10,750 circuit kilometres of transmission lines and 27,500 MegaVolt-Amperes(MVA) of substation transformation capacity.
This will make grid integration and power evacuation of around 20GW of renewable energy easier (RE). The Centre will contribute 33% of the project’s cost to the project.
What is the project’s significance?
To begin with, it will aid in the achievement of the goal of 450 GW of built renewable energy capacity by 2030.
Second, decreasing carbon emissions, will help the country’s long-term energy security and encourage environmentally sustainable development.
Finally, the initiative will create both direct and indirect jobs.